business matters
The Arc of Butler County provides support services for county families and residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Arc of Butler weathers COVID storm

Annually, nonprofit organizations face the challenge of relying largely on donations to provide key services to people.

With so many of those donation opportunities being canceled this year — golf outings, raffles, campaign drives, etc. — a number of nonprofits have struggled to fill the needs of their clients.

Fortunately for the Arc of Butler County, services have been continued.

“The greatest challenge we faced this year has been coordinating the opening and closing of our facilities,” said John Link, executive director of the Arc. “Another challenge was keeping our staff employed during the shutdown while experiencing revenue loss in many of our programs.”

The Arc of Butler County provides support services for county families and residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

With programs in residential, vocational, transition and advocacy areas, the Arc serves more than 250 people annually. Programs range from supported housing to employment workshops.

“Many of our programs were required to shut down in March due to COVID-19,” Link said. “Services opened back up again in July.”

Link said the closure meant the Arc spent about five months trying to get individuals back into their support services.

The next step was to make sure the Arc operated within all safety protocols.

“I believe that our greatest accomplishment was to keep our staff and the individuals that we serve safe,” Link said.

The agency has had to deal with positive COVID-19 cases this year. But Link said the foresight of staff and Butler County Human Services helped contain the transmission.

“Another accomplishment was for us to retain all of our staff through this tough time,” Link said.

Despite programs being closed earlier this year, Link said the Arc was able to keep employees through the government-authorized Payroll Protection Program.

Such a success falls in line with the Arc's mission, according to Link.

“The Arc's role in this pandemic (is) to keep all the individuals safe and to meet their needs,” Link said.

Moving into the new year, Link said the Arc plans to offer all it's “pre-pandemic” services to county residents.

“Our greatest hope is that we return to some sort of normalcy,” Link said. “That we can continue to work together to accomplish great successes.”